Rolex 24 Part of Briscoe's Offseason
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram on December 15, 2011 | 9:40 A.M. EST
Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor tested the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP last week at Daytona. (Photo: GRAND-AM)
Along with testing the new IndyCar Series Dallara DW12 in the offseason, Ryan Briscoe will be back to compete in next month's Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The 50th running of the prestigious twice-around-the-clock race will see Briscoe return with Wayne Taylor Racing along with drivers Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor. It will mark his third start at Daytona with the No. 10 SunTrust Racing team and fifth overall.
Briscoe, who finished fifth with his SunTrust teammates last season, is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel next month following a trip back home to Australia to visit with family and friends.
"It’s such a great way to break up the offseason and get back into race mode," Briscoe said. "It seems like everyone from all categories around the world, this country included, everyone just shows up at Daytona. It's a great reunion of drivers from old times and current times. It’s a prestigious race, an important one to try and win."
Briscoe's best Rolex 24 finish came in 2008 when he drove for Penske-Taylor Racing with teammates Helio Castroneves and Kurt Busch.
"We ended up with third a couple years ago with Helio and Kurt," Briscoe said. "I would really like to try and get that top spot with Max and Ricky."
The SunTrust team is one of four teams that will campaign the Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, giving Briscoe another new car to drive in the offseason along with the DW12.
"We get our first car next week and second and third cars and so on into the new year," Briscoe said last week about the DW12s while attending Stocks-for-Tots in Mooresville, N.C. "We are going to have a lot of testing. Up until this year testing has been very limited for us. They have opened up the rules a bit so with the new car there will be a steep rate of development. I'm really excited about that. I'm excited about a busy offseason once Christmas and New Years is over."
The testing of DW12 chassis will be in anticipation of the debut of the car in the 2012 season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. on March 25. The IndyCar Series has yet to release next year's schedule, but has already announced that Las Vegas Motor Speedway will not be on the slate. (See also: Las Vegas Crash Review Complete)
"I think the real future of IndyCar is the street course racing," Briscoe said. "I think we put on such a great show on the street courses. It's very important to keep a hold of some of these ovals. Our series is really built around the Indy 500 and that's not going anywhere. I love oval racing and I don’t want to see that are only race. We are still trying to lock down the calendar, but we've got some really good ovals lined up with Iowa, Fontana and probably Texas as well. With the new car there's a lot of work going into making it a little bit safer out there and try to get away from the pack racing that we saw in Las Vegas."